Today has been a better day than usual. My husband and I watched Hamilton together, which I suppose I had been putting off doing because he seems completely obsessed with the music from it and has been playing the music incessantly on YouTube for nearly a year now. I knew I would want to watch it someday and today was that day. I finally renewed my Disney+ membership and we watched the full musical together this afternoon and then went out for a small treat afterward. Now I’m cold but bundled up in bed watching a movie and trying to muster the energy to clean my girls’ litter-boxes, which is a chore I avoid like the plague. But it’s my turn so I have to do it.
I don’t often have days like today, when I’m emotional and yet uplifted. I told my therapist once that I couldn’t remember ever being happy for a sustained period, never even a whole day. And I’m not today either. But there have been moments of the day when I felt happy for a few minutes at a time. I spend so much time in my own head, analyzing every thought and emotion, and I rarely express them to anyone, so it’s hard to be happy. I am sort of hoping that writing every day will make it easier to empty out the wells and wells of stuff I never talk about and allow some happiness or contentment to take its place. I wish I had the energy sometimes to try harder and do better for myself. I work on it as much as I can.
I wonder sometimes what it would be like to wake up in the morning and not immediately feel the weight of everything on my shoulders. I feel double or triple my own weight just trying to get to my feet and stumble through one day after another after another. It takes so much energy, so much strength. I am so tired all the time. The world seems to pull me down to it when I only wish I could fly.
And there’s guilt, too, because while my life has some difficulties, I am far better off than a lot of people I know. But you know, I have to remind myself all the time that mental illness isn’t forgiving or logical. It doesn’t care that my stepfather is ill or my mother is worn out trying to take care of him, it doesn’t care that my niece is in jail while mourning the loss of her father, it doesn’t care that millions of families in America can’t pay their bills or feed themselves. It doesn’t care about anything, but only sucks the life out of the person it affects. I try to fight it, to push against it, to stop feeling sorry for myself, and it doesn’t work, and it drags me down and wears me thin trying to fight.
There’s a giant hole that I’ve struggled to keep from falling into for at least 25 years, and mostly I do pretty well. I seem to sit in the darkness at the edge of it most of the time, though I’ve never fallen in so far that I can’t eventually pull myself out. I hope it will come to be easier with more time, more therapy, and more hard work. I may have some things on the horizon that will help me push harder and find the light.